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Federal judge rules postal worker can bring gun to work for self-defense

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Dive Brief:

  • A federal judge dismissed a felony charge against a postal worker who brought a gun to work, ruling that it violated the worker’s Second Amendment rights, according to an order filed Jan. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. 
  • In the order, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle cited the 2022 New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen case, in which a conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that individuals can carry firearms in public for self-defense. 
  • Mizelle did not dismiss a separate charge against the worker for forcibly resisting arrest. The U.S. Postal Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dive Insight:

The ruling establishes that it may be unconstitutional to ban firearms in post offices. Mizelle writes that USPS existed long before regulations restricting firearms in federal buildings were enacted.

“The Supreme Court has been clear: the government must point to historical principles that would permit it to prohibit firearms possession in post offices,” Mizelle said, citing Bruen. 

The worker involved was a semi-truck driver in Tampa hauling packages for the post office. He was arrested by two USPS Office of Inspector General agents in 2012 after bringing a Smith & Wesson handgun in a fanny pack into the post office. The worker said he carried the gun for “extra protection” on the walk into the office from the parking lot. 

Debates about guns in the workplace are tied to the spate of gun violence in the country, as well as concern over workplace shootings.

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